Spanish bishop Pere Casaldáliga dies at 92

The Spanish Bishop Pere Casaldáliga, one of the drivers of Liberation Theology and indigenous rights, died this Saturday in Batatais (Brazil) at the age of 92, reported the congregation of the Claretians of Batatais.

The Catalan Casaldáliga, than lived in Brazil since 1968, was admitted to Batatais, in the interior of the state of Sao Paulo, suffering from pneumonia with pulmonary effusion. His state of health was delicate for years, as he also suffered from parkison.

Casaldáliga, recognized in Brazil for his intense social work and defense of the most vulnerable, he is known as the “bishop of the people” for his defense of the indigenous ethnic groups of the Amazon and the fight against violence in the countryside. Missionary Ronaldo Mazula, from the Batatais Claretian Congregation, informed EFE that the Spanish bishop died at 9:40 a.m. local time (12:40 GMT).

In a statement, the Claretians, to whom Casaldáliga belonged, announced that there will be three wakes in his honor: one in Batatais, this Saturday, and the other two in the Mato Grosso region, where he most performed his pastoral work: in the towns of Ribeirao Cascalheira, on the 10th, and Sao Félix de Araguaia, where he will be buried. Also, this Sunday a mass will be celebrated in tribute to the prelate in Batatais.

Casaldáliga, what was it Bishop Emeritus of the Prelate of Sao Félix de Araguaia, participated in the fight against violence in the countryside and in the founding of the Pastoral Land Commission and the Indigenous Missionary Council, both organizations linked to the Catholic Church.

The religious, the son of peasants and ordained priest in the Spain of the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, came to suffer death threats on various occasions, including for his defense of the indigenous Xavante de Marãiwatsédé in the retake of their lands after being occupied by invaders.

In addition to his pastoral work, Casaldáliga is recognized for his literary production, both of poetry and of articles and works of a political nature.